Posted by Raul on February 1, 2013
Well…I don’t feel I’m him…I feel I’m me. I’m here and he’s there. If I was there, then I would think his thoughts and not mine, but I can’t perceive his thoughts, so I’m not him.
I can see him standing there and he can see me standing here. If I could see me standing here then I would be there, thus I would be him. If I want to see me I need a mirror and cannot use somebody else’s eyes, so I cannot be in somebody else’s body, only mine, which means I’m always here in me.
Then I’m a unit and he’s a unit, and we both are separate, distinctive units. We are two different entities completely independent from the other. If we want to connect we have to synchronize our thoughts by means of speech or physical perception of some kind.
That means our thoughts; decisions and actions are independent from each other, and we can go separate ways and lead completely different kinds of lives without influencing each other in the outcomes.
Truly independent units
The loneliness of complete freedom!
I was five years old when I realized I was a unit following a train of thoughts similar to the one presented above. What surprises me is that I’ve found many adult people in my life that can’t relate to the concept presented. Are they dependant units of a whole?
Do you consider yourself an independent unit? If so, when did you realize that? Or are you a dependant unit which is part of a whole? Let me know…I’m curious!
Posted by Raul on June 6, 2011
In any relationship that might be: marriage, parenthood, friendship, etc. the use of bad words or insults in reference to the person we are talking to as a way of joking is something I really dislike. I do understand and accept their use as part of the joke, and we know there are times when a thousand words cannot explain what one single bad word does.
But when those words are used to directly refer to the other person, it is my opinion that slowly but surely it helps deteriorate the relationship.
Say for instance, you make a silly joke to a loved one and the response to you, as a joke, is: “Jerk!”
It might be just a joke, just a word, nothing that has a real meaning or that comes from the heart of the person saying such word, yet (unconsciously) it does become already traveled road that opens the door for another road, and then another, then another, to the point that, without even knowing, the use of insults becomes the norm, putting the relationship interactions too close to the side of disrespect.
Everything we do repeatedly will become a custom and will loose its original intensity.
Having sex before marriage as another process of getting to know each other before deciding if marriage is for them, that I agree; while having sex as a normal element of any party, and just for the temporary pleasure it gives; that I disagree.
Discovering new technologies by their use as a way to learn, adapt to the new times while improving our efficiency, I agree; but getting the latest just to be with the crowd and don’t look like left behind, that I disagree.
In everything we do, if we do it very often, we will loose the magic involved in the process, and it’ll become just the base for something else to acquire in order to recover the lost magic of the first times.
For the same reason, if it becomes the norm to use insults to joke with a loved one, then pretty soon it’ll be necessary to use stronger words to retain the “fun” of it, to the point that someone external to the circle will become shocked by the way they joke with each other.
What has become a natural thing for some could be an extreme for the rest.
Joking with bad words brings resentment in the long run, and also creates a situation of disrespect, even if there was no intention of such thing from the part of those using the bad words.
That’s why I disagree with the use of insults as jokes when referring to a loved one. To keep a positive relationship in the long run, sometimes we have to “invest” in not going too far, as a way to always remain within the range of respect and love each other deserves.
My personal opinion of course.
What is your take on that? Do you accept the use of bad words as jokes with your loved ones?
Posted by Raul on May 19, 2011
The other day I had to replace the bathroom fan, so it implied going up to between the ceiling and the roof. Walking over the wooden frame; avoiding the ceiling made out of sheetrock; over the dusty insulation; in a three feet vertical room; trying not to get my head scratched with the nails pointing down from the roof (those that hold down the shingles)…not exactly my preferred situation!
Once over the bathroom I left the 110 volts lamp over the insulation and proceeded to work on removing the old (truly vintage) bathroom fan. While working on that, and sweating a lot because of the heat and my own nervousness of falling through the ceiling (sheetrock), the light bulb exploded and darkness became all around me.
After removing the light bulb to replace it with a new one I realized there was a missing piece of glass, and could see the problem was my sweating dripping over the heated light bulb. That got me thinking…
Can we destroy our own imagination and ideas (reflected in the hot, lighted light bulb) by becoming too anxious (sweating drops) about the problems we have to deal with (falling through the sheetrock) while trying to accomplish our dreams and goals (replacing the bathroom fan)?
(I know what you thinking: “Here we go…what I was thinking when I clicked in this guy’s blog?”)
Not that a new bathroom fan was my dream to one day accomplish, but rather another freaking problem that had to happen when I had many other things to deal with.
The thing is, how many times we destroy our possibilities because of our own anxiety about the process and the outcome, and even more, worrying about the problems we do and will encounter throughout the process?
How many things could we accomplish if we could learn to just leave aside the worries of the surrounding elements that complicate the process, and that are part of any process?
Or simply learn to switch from the concept of “problems” into a more comfortable thought, which can be also easily manageable.
I must admit that thinking about this while hanging from the ceiling wasn’t exactly the best idea but hey, some people use music to distract the brain while working.
Now I can write about it, comfortably seating in front of the computer, while the new bathroom fan smoothly takes the vapors of the shower away, to the infinite sky (or the backyard).
Have you had sometimes the feeling of being your own “enemy” while trying to accomplish something? Like…being the biggest problem when working in solving the problem?
What is your take on the reasons why people struggle so much to accomplish their dreams?
Do you like light bulbs? (Just kidding)
Posted by Raul on May 9, 2011
It was about ten o’clock in the morning when the doorbell ringed; I opened the door and found a technician from Comcast (my IP provider) who claimed to be here to activate the requested phone service (which I have with Qwest). Surprised as I was I told him that nobody requested such service, and I wasn’t expecting anyone from Comcast to show up. He checked in his (seemed to me) cell phone and confirmed the appointment, so I had no option but to insist that I didn’t want to switch my phone service to them and asked him to cancel such work order. He apologized for the inconvenience, worked in his cell phone and told me the order was cancelled; then he left.
That same day in the afternoon the doorbell ringed again, I opened the door and found another person from Comcast, this time introducing himself as a supervisor who was in the area checking for customer satisfaction. He asked for the installation of the new modem for the internet service and asked if everything was OK with the technician coming in the morning. I told him the technician didn’t mention anything about switching the modem, but instead he wanted to connect phone service; that I explained to the man it was a mistake and nobody had requested such service; and so that I dismissed the technician.
He apologized for the confusion and explained that the purpose of the technician wasn’t to connect phone service but to upgrade the modem for a better and even cheaper bill internet service. He explained that with the new modem customers have a smaller bill, and he didn’t want me to find out later that my neighbors are paying less than I for the same service with the company. He wrote down a new work order for the following day in the morning for a technician to show up and switch the internet modem. He told me then, if anything happened and it was not possible for a technician to show up in time, he will call me and let me know. I thanked him for his courtesy and, holding the white copy of the work order, I closed the door and smiled for the outstanding customer service the company has shown (silly me!).
Nobody showed up and nobody called to explain why!
That’s fine, there’s time to switch to a modern modem if the need arises, I thought.
The next day I tried to create a new email address to use exclusively with the scooter’s club I participate in, so went through the process in my Outlook Express and, copying all the steps from the actual address I have, created a new one for the specific purpose.
It didn’t work!
After several attempts I decided to call Comcast’s customer service and ask for help; after all they claim I can have up to seven email addresses within the contract.
My first call was for service in Spanish, so there’ll be no misunderstandings because of language (I am Chilean). The lady who answered was a big time talker, repeating several cliché phrases about my satisfaction, customer priority, etc, but didn’t know about the system more than I do, so there was no solution to the problem. By the end of the call she asked if there was something else she could help me with (she wasn’t any help with the first issue), so I mentioned about the modem switch work order that didn’t happened. She checked her computer and confirmed the work order for installing phone service, not switching modem! I asked (in my best calmed and controlled voice) that I wanted to cancel the phone connection since I didn’t request it. She said she couldn’t do that but she could connect me with the sales department; I accepted and she made the switch. The lady (speaking in English) didn’t hear me, so after several attempts I had to just hang up the phone.
With my state of mind a little in the high tone (which is known in my country as “boiling shit”) I called again to customer service, this time in English, to ask for help with setting the new email address. The man who answered could barely hear me and didn’t understand my talking (I must clarify; when I’m mad my English pronunciation is better than normal since I speak at a slower speed and trying to modulate better -That’s the way you know I’m mad). Again there was no solution; he went to the same process I did first and got to the same place I did: Nowhere. I mentioned if they might have a problem in their system and, after repeating and repeating everything I said, finally, out of rage, I told him “How do you want to sell me phone service if you cannot even hear me on the phone?” and hanged up.
To calm down I decided to surf the net for a moment and found out now I didn’t have internet service! With my fist pointing to the heavens I screamed “Damn you Comcast!” Well…not really, but I was mad at them.
At home there are three computers connected to the internet through the same contract with Comcast. Only one had internet!
With my almost non-existent knowledge and skills about computers, I checked everything I could to make the three computers have internet. I disconnected the router and plugged by turn each computer straight to the modem, to first discard the possibility of a faulty router. Every computer had internet this way, but only after doing a re-start. My conclusion was that Comcast can only recognize and accept one computer (I don’t know about computers and/or IP companies remember?).
Tired of getting nowhere I decided to drive to a Comcast office close by to ask for a technician to come by and check the whole system. I didn’t want to call again (I have a very sensitive shit!). My thoughts were that, if it was required to talk on the phone with customer service to change codes or something like that, a technician could do that from my place better than I.
I took a bill statement with me as proof of customer and all the numbers they might need to identify me as such. The lady took the statement and scanned it, so all the information about my account appeared in her computer screen. I explained I wanted to set an appointment for a technician to come by and check why I didn’t have internet. She said the computer showed I didn’t have a forty five dollars a month service that will allow me to receive a technician without cost, so the fee for a visit would be forty dollars…
”Do you want to add that service now?”
Also, there was a pending phone service connection.
I breathed deep…I took hold of all my experience in Yoga and relaxation techniques (which I have never practiced in my life) and told her that please cancel the phone connection and let’s go with the forty dollars for now; that I wasn’t sure to keep the service with them. She typed in the computer and told me that the order was cancelled, but she couldn’t schedule an appointment because the system was down!
“So what can we do now?”
“We have to wait until tomorrow for the system to come up again, and then we can schedule an appointment”
“So there’s nothing to do for now”
She could scan the statement and get all my information as customer in her computer, but couldn’t schedule an appointment!
I left the store not sure if it made any difference in person compared with on the phone.
Once at home I decided to try again and reprogram the router…just in case. After following the procedure, the step by step guidance told me it couldn’t find the router.
Aha! Maybe the entire problem is the router! -I said to myself.
So I rushed to the store and bought a new one. Once back at home I followed the procedure to install it and program it, and voila! All three computers have internet again. It was a faulty router after all.
With this I can see it wasn’t a Comcast problem, but I still have a bitter feeling about how they handle customer service and the tactics they use to sell more services.
When checking the snail mailbox yesterday I found a letter from Comcast telling that some unknown company is planning to buy Qwest, so how is that for customer service from Qwest? Why should I put up with Qwest not telling me that they might sell to some other company I don’t know about? Of course, the phone number and the URL from Comcast were there for me to immediately switch services to them!
Why am I telling you all this?
I used to think that relying too much in electronics and computerized services is giving away our own power over our lives. What would happen if a virus enters the systems in one of these companies? If an earthquake destroys the link towers or systems they have? Customer service cannot solve problems when everything is fine, will they be able to be of any help if an extreme situation arises?
How would you pay with a credit or a bank card, even if the money is in your checking account? How will you recover all the information about people you know and do business with if the robots that remember information and passwords suddenly die? If there are no more internet and phone services?
How much of our lives are dependant on a technology that we are loosing control of?
I used to think that an external agent such an earthquake, a virus, even a terrorist attack could change everything. Now I believe we don’t need that; customer service and the voracious hunger of companies for getting more and more customers to charge every month, without caring for providing a good (or even decent) service will do the trick in the future.
When was the last time you heard of a company proudly claiming being “Third” in customer service in the country? When was the last time you received prompt and knowledgeable service from one of these companies?
They are loosing control of their own business because of paying more attention to acquire paying customers that retaining them with a good service.
Lies in publicity have become institutionalized and are the norm nowadays! It cannot be only number one companies, right? Somebody have to be second, or third.
Let me briefly summarize it:
-The collapse of the electronic and computerized systems.
-The institutionalized lies as a way of business.
-The interest in quick profits at any cost rather than continuity in business.
-The degradation of the competition as a form of publicity, rather than the self improvement as a company, as a way to gain and retain customers.
We are giving away to technology our own responsibility of our doings in our lives. We don’t need to remember…technology does for us. We don’t need to learn…we just Google it. The use of technology is even replacing our need to know how to read a map to get somewhere. Thanks to technology and our laziness we can stop the learning and skill acquiring processes, leaving ourselves in a very precarious position if something happen to our beloved technology.
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and I wouldn’t go back in time. I don’t believe that the past was better than the present or the future, but I do believe technology should be used to “help” instead of “replace”. With technology we can do more and faster than was possible before, so we can use it to lead better, more productive lives, rather than using it to rest over it and stop our own growth.
Using technology as an aid we can create a better future, but if we use it for monetary gain or to slow down our own self growth, we might find ourselves in a very tight situation in the near future.
Am I becoming obsessed? Have you experience similar situations? Do you agree with some of these points? What is your take on this?